John Savage Award and Bursary 2018-19
The Club are delighted to award the 2018-19 John Savage Trophy and Bursary to YMCA Belfast which, with inspirational leaders, works with children, young people, families and the community and supports young people to achieve their potential and their goals. Inaugurated in 2009, in memory of former member the late John Savage, it is awarded by the Club annually to the individual or group selected as giving great service to the Community (see here).
President Mark presented it to YMCA Belfast General Secretary Howard Davey with YMCA’s Youth and Community Development Worker Brian Moore and Lydia Neish at the Club meeting Monday 04 June pictured right with Club Rotarians Eric Rainey (far left) and Past President Brian Clements (far right).
Accepting and thanking for the Award Howard Davey advised that the 5th June is not only the 75th anniversary of D-Day but also the 175th anniversary of the YMCA and, though now worldwide, Dublin and Belfast were the first locations outside London – the YMCA has been in Belfast for 159 years and, since 2003, is based at Stranmillis. He stressed that they aim to connect with young people and families at the point of need on a one-to-one basis. The YMCA Belfast has three main areas of service – youth and community work with teenagers; childcare, after school clubs and holiday clubs with pre-school and primary school children; and health and fitness programmes for all ages from teenagers to pensioners. He pointed out particularly that they have 150 children playing football, their small fitness facility is of particular value to retired people and teenagers and emphasised that they are not dependent on grant funding but avail of it and any donations.
Brian Moore and Lydia Neish spoke particularly about the success of their Connect Project which started in 2013 and is a non-educational project based in 5 schools which working directly with the young people uses dialogue and interactive learning methods to tackle issues of diversity, the religious divide in Northern Ireland and associated issues including online security and night-time safety.
Lydia concluded by thanking the Club for seeing the value in their work and invited the Club to visit.